I mentioned in my review of Hursey’s that there were better barbecue places nearby. I was thinking of Clark’s Barbecue in Kernersville, which is a mere 37 miles away, and well worth the trip.
Clark’s has been around since 1993, since a Davison County (Lexington) family decided to set up shop in Kernersville. They cook Lexington-style True ‘Cue, pork shoulders over wood. And they offer vegetables. Clark’s is unusual among traditional barbecue places in that they offer lots of vegetables (all, I presume, flavored with pork.)
How I miss the vegetables of my youth, the great meals cooked by Dear, and the Meat and Threes that sparkle across the Deep South. Vegetables are rare in traditional barbecue North Carolina places. Richard’s and Bum’s are the only other places that come to mind. Richard’s, one of the world’s great, too-often-overlooked barbecue places, also has turnip greens, while Bum’s (best in Eastern North Carolina?) beautifully seasoned heirloom collards are within shouting distance of turnip greens (and they have corn sticks! But I digress.)
I sat down knowing that I would order a pork plate with two sides, and I was thrilled with the prospect of turnip greens. They have so much more flavor than the ubiquitous collard greens, but they’re hard to find. When I glanced to my right, however, I was crushed to see that the wall menu by my seat indicated that Clark’s was out of turnip greens. Discerning my distress the server hustled back to check and returned to reassure me that they did in fact have turnip greens. Beaming, I ordered a pork plate with turnip greens and lima beans.
Oh, what a plate! And oh, what barbecue. Oh, what pork. The pork had good smoky flavor and a good bit of outside bark to accent the richness of the pork. The meat was not at all dry, and it had been touched lightly with a very good Piedmont sauce, with more on the side.
The vegetables were beautifully cooked, and the server thoughtfully brought some vinegar, just what you want to kick vegetables up a notch. This was a meal to remember. As if that weren’t enough, behold their hushpuppies:
Hmm. One seems to be missing. And you are correct, the hushpuppies were doughnut shaped! And delicious, with great texture and great flavor, and excellent at soaking up the delicious, nutritious pot likker from the greens. I will add that corn meal doughnuts beat potato doughnuts like a red headed stepchild.
Each serving was more than generous, easily enough for two people. It cost $9.99 plus $2.09 for tea and 85 cents for the governor, who is much less rapacious than our mayor in Washington. Plus a well-deserved tip. My server was friendly and beyond helpful, and capped off great service by offering a “go cup” for my tea. What a great place for my final meal on this North Carolina trip. Well, I did have some salty snacks and liquid hops while I watched the Alabama-Florida game, but that wasn’t a meal.
The course of your life may take you along I-40 between Greensboro and Winston-Salem. See that it does. Clark’s is just off the interstate, and it’s well worth the minor detour if you’re headed up or down I-85 or I-77. Get yourself a great meal at Clark’s.
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9 thoughts on “Clark’s Barbecue, Kernersville, North Carolina”
Very nice report. I wish I shared your passion for vegetables! Although having them pork-laced and cooked in pork fat helps.
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Indeed, as so often is the case, pork is the key. That and having several meals in a row in which everything has been fried makes a big difference.
Hi John, I really enjoy your blog and reading about lots of places mostly out of my logistical reach without a heck of a road trip. How can I contact you directly about a place I had the pleasure of trying today?
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John tanner law. At gmail
The name is as alone word
Add another destination to my list.
I know that Parker’s in Wilson doesn’t meet the purists’ definition of barbecue, but the locals think it’s barbecue and its vegetables are outstanding (better than its “barbecue”).
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I dearly love Parker’s, and have posted on it several times. The barbecue tastes good (they have a great sauce), the fried chicken is good, the green beans are outstanding, and their corn sticks … oh, their corn sticks!
My family ate at Clark’s bbq in pic yesterday and I was changed for a drink that I sent back and there was a $3 up charge for brisket when I was already paying $15 for the meal . When I spoke with the manager he was argumentative and rude about refunding my money for the tea I sent back. He said he fixed the charge but this morning I’m still being charged the full original amount and I am furious. We will NEVER eat here again
Yikes! I’m sorry you had a bad experience